Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sea Serpent Carcass Accounts

In the light of the recent carcass washed up in Aberdeen but identified as a juvenile pilot whale (link), two accounts from long ago shows how recurrent this phenomenon is.

They are taken from the London Chronicle, Volume 9 in 1761. The first is on page 350 and there is a short piece there written by a William Fuller Maitland:

"They write from Calais, that a sea monster latterly ran on shore between that place and Boulogne, 48 feet in length, and 12 in thickness. It is not like a whale. When its mouth is open, the distance between the upper and lower jaw is five feet. One of its teeth weighed 17 ounces."

On page 526 comes another account of a similarly sized leviathan in Spain:

"On the 3rd of April ran ashore at Gandia, a little town in the kingdom of Valentia, part of Old Spain, a sea monster, 24 ells round, and only seven long, from head to tail. It had two rows of teeth, and its body was covered with large black scales. It produced 1250 quintals of oil."

The "ell" is an old measurement based on the length of a man's arm and according to Wikipedia varied between countries from 63.5cm to 137cm. Using the lowest measure gives a creature 15 metres long and 4 metres across which is almost identical to the Calais carcass.

A ratio of about 4:1 for the length to thickness is not quite sea serpent dimensions. Indeed, the term "sea serpent" may not even have been invented in 1761 hence the use of "sea monster".

Given the ease with which carcasses wash up these days and are soon identified as decomposed basking sharks, one wonders whether the same applies to these ancient accounts.

No strange carcass has ever been washed up at Loch Ness though one or two hoaxes have been perpetrated. The steep sides of the loch ensure that such an event is not likely. A decomposing carcass presumably may float to the surface but the peaty nature of the loch again makes such an event less likely compared to what goes on in the oceans and seas.

Of course, a dead Nessie grounded ashore would answer all questions but if the alleged old saying that "Loch Ness never gives up its dead" is true then we may be waiting a very long time.

Monday, 1 August 2011


Since this blog began about a year ago, two things were uppermost. The first was to provide a platform where classic sightings are not dismissed so easily and given a more thorough analysis from the point of view of a "believer".

Second was to highlight the latest news from Loch Ness and there is nothing more important in this respect than sighting reports. So, with that in mind, this posting will be updated whenever a new claim to have seen Nessie appears in the media. It will be a permanent link below our picture of Nessie on the right hand side of the page.

I do not claim that every sighting logged is actually of the Loch Ness Monster, I will give my opinion when there is enough data to merit it but I leave the reader to form their own opinion.

There is also a second section which logs sightings from years past which I think have not appeared in the general literature before.

If any reader has further information to add to the log, add a comment to this post and it will automatically be sent to my email account (lochnesskelpie@gmail.com).

Alternatively, email me at the above address if you want to keep it private.


Sighting #1
Witnesses: Richard Preston
Date: 24th November 2010
Location: Aldourie Castle
Recording: Photograph
Time: 1500
Analysis: here.

Sighting #2
Witnesses: Joan and William Jobes
Date: 24th May 2011
Location: Former Fort Augustus Abbey
Recording: Photograph
Time: 1110
Analysis: here.

Sighting #3
Witnesses: Simon and Jan Hargreaves, Graham Baine and Ala MacGruer
Date: 15th June 2011
Location: Foyers Post Office
Recording: None
Time: 1430-1500
Analysis: here, here and here.

Sighting #4
Witnesses: Jon Rowe
Date: 7th September 2011
Location: Dores Bay
Recording: Photograph
Time: 1230
Analysis: here and here and here.

Sighting #5
Witnesses: Marcus Atkinson
Date: early September 2011
Location: Urquhart Castle
Recording: Sonar
Time: morning?
Analysis: here and here.

Sighting #6
Witnesses: Diane Blackmore
Date: 28th August 2011
Location: Lochend
Recording: None
Time: 1000
Analysis: here.

Sighting #7
Witnesses: Adam Bird
Date: 18th September 2010
Location: Urquhart Bay
Recording: Webcam
Time: 1220
Analysis: here.

Sighting #8
Witnesses: Anonymous (local man)
Date: 4th April 2012
Location: Urquhart Bay
Recording: None
Time: 1715
Analysis: here.

Sighting #9
Witnesses: Anonymous (Glasgow man)
Date: 11th April 2010
Location: Urquhart Bay
Recording: Video
Time: Afternoon
Analysis: here.

Sighting #10
Witnesses: "Ed" (Loch Ness webcam user)
Date: 5th April 2012
Location: Just north of Urquhart Bay
Recording: Webcam
Time: 1020
Analysis: here.

Sighting #11
Witnesses: Names withheld
Date: 14th June 2010
Location: Just south of Urquhart Bay
Recording: None
Time: 0720
Analysis: here.

Sighting #12
Witnesses: Daniel Parker and other
Date: 26th June 2013
Location: Just north of Inverfarigaig
Recording: Photograph
Time: 1500
Analysis: here.



Witnesses: Margaret Aitken
Date: July 1933
Location: Dores Road opposite Castle
Time: afternoon
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: "James" from Lewes
Date: About 1979
Location: Shallow water off Urquhart Castle
Time: dusk
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Chris Sharratt
Date: 1990
Location: Inverfarigaig
Time: daytime
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Fort Augustus Abbey Monk
Date: 1930s?
Location: Fort Augustus Abbey
Time: daytime
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Gordon Powell
Date: 21st June 1936
Location: Urquhart Bay
Time: 1730
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Sean O' Donovan
Date: August 1962
Location: Urquhart Bay
Time: daytime
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Tim Richardson
Date: February 2002
Location: Urquhart Bay
Time: morning
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Anonymous
Date:May 2009
Location: near Fort Augustus
Time: late afternoon
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Mr. Candlish
Location: Urquhart Bay
Time:not known
Analysis: here.

Witnesses: Unknown (told by William MacKenzie)
Date:Spring 1880
Location: Unknown
Time:not known
Analysis: here